Back in the day Seagates were the most reliable. This was when WD and Maxtor were the only other two games in town. IBM was a joke in the late 90's. Anyways, drives are all the same these days as far as reliability is concerned. I would be more concerned w/ warranty and support.
As wusy said, the number one killer of hard drives is heat. (some say it's spindle speed, but this absolutely not true). So a well ventilated system will ensure a longer lifetime on your drives.